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June 21, 2022

Race & Justice News: North Carolina Re-Enfranchises People on Probation and Parole

North Carolina Court re-enfranchises people on probation and parole, state supreme courts lack racial diversity, and more in the latest Race & Justice Newsletter.
publications
June 14, 2022

Data Reveals Violence Among Youth Under 18 Has Not Spiked in the Pandemic

Pervasive discussions about adolescent crime have revitalized calls for punitive approaches to youth justice that don’t work
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Theresa McIntyre Smith

In 1999, Theresa Smith was arrested at an airport after she met a drug courier in Roy Mercer’s network and according to the government, identified a suitcase containing eleven kilograms of cocaine for the courier. Smith said she had been told by Mercer that the suitcase contained his nieces’ clothes. For this first-time non-violent offense, Smith was sentenced to a ten-year mandatory prison term.
publications
June 09, 2022

Incarcerated LGBTQ+ Adults and Youth

Emma Stammen and Nazgol Ghandnoosh, Ph.D.
This brief examines the criminalization and over-incarceration of LGBTQ+ people in the United States, highlighting the drivers of overrepresentation and presenting recommendations for reform.
publications
May 27, 2022

Oversight Hearing on Clemency and the Office of the Pardon Attorney

William Underwood
Senior Fellow William "Bill" Underwood testified before the House Judiciary Committee about the need for Congress to provide more opportunities for second chances for people serving extreme sentences.
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Featured Story

Willie Mays Aikens

In 2008, Willie Mays Aikens made headlines when a federal judge reduced his lengthy prison term to 14 years as a result of the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s adjustment to the crack cocaine sentencing guidelines. Aikens was released in June 2008.
publications
May 12, 2022

Incarcerated Women and Girls

Research on female incarceration is critical to understanding the full consequences of mass incarceration and to unraveling the policies and practices that lead to their criminalization. The number of incarcerated women was nearly five times higher in 2020 than in 1980.
publications
April 26, 2022

Media Guide: 10 Crime Coverage Dos and Don'ts

The Sentencing Project’s new media guide can help media outlets develop coverage that will better inform the public and policymakers on how to pursue the most effective and humane public safety policies.
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Featured Story
July 26, 2017

Dr. Stanley Andrisse

From prison cells to PhD, Dr. Stanley Andrisse shares his transformation to inspire those impacted by the criminal justice system.
news
April 11, 2022

#SecondChanceMonth: Unlock the Vote

Honoring April as Second Chance Month gives us an opportunity to check in on developments in voting rights and expanding the franchise to incarcerated voters. The Sentencing Project is working regularly with state and local campaigns to expand voting rights to justice impacted voters.
publications
April 05, 2022

Letter Opposing the PROTECT Act of 2022

The PROTECT Act of 2022 would have far-reaching implications for eroding fairness and justice, including the potential to usher in a new era of mandatory minimums.
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Andres Idarraga

After his release in June of 2004, Andres Idarraga became a full-time student at Brown University studying comparative literature and economics while maintaining full-time employment. Idarraga saw his right to vote as a significant and crucial aspect to rebuilding his life and to contributing to his community.
publications
March 31, 2022

Felony Murder: An On-Ramp for Extreme Sentencing

Nazgol Ghandnoosh, Ph.D., Emma Stammen, and Connie Budaci

Although other countries have largely rejected the felony murder doctrine, 48 states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government still use these laws. Felony murder laws compel harsh decades-long – or even life – sentences even when the individual charged did not directly cause or intend the loss of life.

publications
March 30, 2022

California Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans - Criminal Justice Panel

Nicole D. Porter, Senior Director of Advocacy, testified before the California's Reparations Task Force on the Criminal Justice Panel.
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Kemba Smith

At 24 years old, Kemba Smith was sentenced to 24.5 years in prison for conspiracy to participate in her boyfriend's drug activities, a non-violent, first-time offense. For years, her parents galvanized a tireless movement seeking clemency for their daughter.
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